The importance of Literacy for Women project – Lives being transformedBSM
We recently had a sit down with the Executive Director of Bible Society of Malawi Mr Clapperton Mayuni to understand the importance of literacy for women project being implemented in Mangochi and Phalombe and here are the excepts of the interview:
In pursuit of our mission in Malawi, the Bible Society of Malawi has long recognized that its mission delivery is negatively impacted by among other things the low literacy levels among its people and especially so among the women. This has been noted in our Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 as one of the major threats to the effective implementation to most of our programmes.
It is against this background that the Bible Society of Malawi believes that by implementing the Literacy Work among the Yao and Ellomwe women, initially, and later to include other people groups, we shall contribute greatly to the development of the people that speak these languages because we have seen that:
- Literacy is foundational for all development. Literacy improves the position of the vulnerable e.g. now women learn to read their own phone text messages, fill their own names when processing National Identity forms and have access to information various health issues. Literacy also improves gender inequalities as both women and men learn to read and write. Literacy also leads to employment and leadership opportunities.
- Whenever we have released the scriptures for the first time in a language of our people their self-esteem is enhanced and people are encouraged to speak their language but for those who cannot read their own language they feel left out and so we have noted that the coming of literacy work in their areas has helped the people to regain their lost dignity.
- It has also encouraged the members of these communities to actively participate in other development issues in their areas as they learn to interface with different literature that comes their way. They are for example able to read campaign materials that different political parties bring to their areas. This in turn consolidates our belief that literacy indeed increases the basic human rights of every human being. A literate person has access to information about their rights.
- Literacy serves the whole community irrespective of religious affiliation. One concrete outcome of translating the Bible into minority languages is that those languages are then developed having an orthography and literature of their own.
In conclusion the Executive Director thanked all partners who are supporting the delivery of the project and in particular Finnish Bible Society and Finnish Government who are the key partners of the project.